Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Big Foot Muse

Years of living in a city that was deemed “pensioners paradise” two decades ago, only to be doomed as “IT-ridden vice” today, I’ve not had much of a relationship with nature. Ofcourse, I always wrote under the influence of the greenery on the empty site next to my house. More precisely, the parthenium weeds, visible from my window, were the best muse I could find. And if it rained, the droplets trickling off this wilderness was all the imagery I needed to get the ink flowing from my pen.

What happens when this writer heads to a blissful resort such as Orange County, Kabini that is nestled on the banks of the Kabini River? She sits on the porch of her luxury “hut” and soaks in all the nature she can.

The river brimming and swishing along the banks like a soaked muddy red skirt… 
The breeze tickling the layers of the infinity pool to evoke ripples… 
The trees rustling relentlessly, as if to whisper some long-kept secrets… 
The birds cooing,chirping, and cawing at various notes, an art, that perhaps no singer can imbibe… 
A gentle drizzling from the heavens…
An overjoyed red earth soaking it all in…

The breeze courts the pool. 
The trees whisper sweet nothings to the breeze.
The sky showers his love to the earth.
The earth soaks it all in with a soft pleasure.
The birds set the tune for the romance.

A singer’s melody… A dancer’s grace… A painter’s masterpiece… A writer’s muse…

They say being a travel writer is a dream job. I believe it’s a dreamer’s job. If, in the past, I feared that my Big Foot Dream would nestle in my eyes and rest there as a twinkle forever, I was only being a cynic. 

An acquaintance once told me, “If you are worthy of nature, she will invite you. But she will invite you only when she believes you are ready. That is the way of nature.” 

And today, I truly understand what he meant. I know better than to question the ways of nature. She’s the muse – I’m only her ink. 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Big Foot Dream

It’s almost a cliché when someone says s(he) dreams of being a writer someday. And I am one of those clichés. Only difference is… I’ve just begun to live that clichéd dream!

I have always known I’m a writer; I simply yearned to pass the rite of passage in the professional circle. When I had my Big Foot Revelation, I realised I’m just another novice in line to the Big Throne of a kingdom of travel wordsmiths; I wondered if my words would be taken seriously at all!

It was only as I was handed the keys to our Pool Hut in Orange County, that I observed an envelope addressed to me. It lay there, hand-made, exotic looking, sophisticated even in its rustic and earthy style. It lay there on a tastefully picked southern wooden table. It lay there patiently waiting for me to unfold more than a decade’s worth of passion nurtured in the deepest depths of my heart. I held it in my hands and realised one of my long-craved dreams had just been fulfilled. I had attempted a professional holiday deal on my own and it had just materialised, the envelope in my hands a testament to that reality.  

I hadn’t yet opened what lay inside the envelope; I was engulfed by the mere mention of my name on it. Nothing else mattered at that moment. I did open the letter a few minutes later, and it was a simple gracious welcome from the Orange County, Kabini management. A formal gesture. But it was the name on the envelope that stole my senses – just that – Ms. Anusha Shashidhar. There it was. One of the leading luxury resorts in the state, welcoming a travel writer, a professional welcome at long last.

I was mildly nudged out of my trance by the wind kissing my hair and cheeks softly. I pulled my gaze from the envelope to the porch on my right. The hut had a porch that overlooked the Kabini river at half a kilometres distance on one side and an infinity pool on the other. There was a pair of jute slippers and an umbrella at the porch’s opening. I slipped into them and carried the umbrella. I stepped onto the porch and realised it was drizzling… as gentle as a playful sprinkle from a lover’s hands…

I slipped into the reclining chair and took deep and calm breaths… I let my eyelashes meet… I could hear some birds chirping in the distance… 

Under my eyelids, I saw a little girl fantasising drenching in the rains amid some fancy greenery. As she watched Bollywood actors running around trees to express their undying love for each other on the television, she silently romanced the rain, the greenery, the lush nature onscreen behind them. 
The girl grew big in my eyes, moving on to hold an envelope addressed to her in her hands, she then slipped into jute slippers, carried an umbrella, and stepped onto a porch. She slipped into a reclining chair, closed her eyes, and her eyes held a fancy dream that lay twinkling for over a decade. 

A fancy dream that spun many a tales in her mind, a fancy dream that spun many a tales from her pen, a fancy dream that spun many a tales that writ her life alive…

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Big Foot Battle

Pic courtesy: Ramu M, my colleague and favourite graphic designer

For the last time, I’m informing you. I don’t ASK my father for permission! I TELL him.

Wars always call for being prepared for the unexpected, no matter how good a war strategist you are. You always need to go the extra mile. With my parents, let’s just say it takes going the extra big foot!
I intended to announce my big foot intentions to them ceremoniously and expected a grand scale dramatics of Kathakali-like expressions and Yakshagaana-like howlings debating the safety and security of girls.

So, I told them that I was going on an “official” tour as a travel writer (with two of my soulmates as photographers). Now, there you go… “official” simply did the trick, turning their roar into a feeble meow!

Well, I had misanalysed the warzone. It wasn’t a warzone; it was a battlefield! A very lukewarm battlefield at that for a hot-blooded proud peacock with superior complexity issues… 

But I’m not complaining, I’m just plain shocked – my feathers were quite hackled, I might say, but there didn’t seem any need for biting each other’s beaks off…

Well, that’s that. Battle won (there was no opponent, really – only pseudo opponent – I do not need a jetpack to fly – I’m a peacock, remember?). I just have my Big Foot Revelation and pack my bags! 

Oh, and before I forget to tell you, I’m headed to Orange County, Kabini.

South Indians are no novice to Kabini, the ultimate southern beauty with her dense forests, and gushing rivers. No doubt every other traveller steps into its territory hoping to eye atleast one carnivore before s/he turns back. 

Well, looking at my primitive feet, I might get lucky. But I’m really interested to see what other treasures this southern beauty hides.

So, Kabini… Here I come… I’m sure my peacock-ugly feet will fit in pretty well with your natural backdrop…

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Big Foot Revelation

Unnaturally long, terribly wide at the front, with crooked toes, but for loads of hair, my feet could give hobbits a severe complex!

[Rewinding to my childhood]

I remember that as a small kid, whenever I needed new shoes or slippers, my mother always looked like her soul had been sucked out of her! My feet were dementors that no shoe shop salesman had a patronus charm for!

Pretty slippers? What are those? Flats? But my feet touch the ground on either side of the slipper; what’s the point of wearing them? Floaters? Do I look like a man to you?

A weak patronus charm conjured… Ugly wedges with extremely wide straps to “hide those wide feet and crooked toes”!

School shoes shopping. Hmmm… Should be fun… Black shoes? Size 8? Like EIGHT? Yes. E.I.G.H.T. Size seven is last, your wide feet will enlargen it, don’t worry.
Wow, what a ray of sunshine.

White shoes? Oh no problem! The boys section has size 8 and above all the time. Anyway white shoes are the same for boys and girls.
*Poker face*

[Fast forwarding to my teenage and adulthood]

Yes, this is a pretty design (smiles, showing bedazzling yellow teeth). I’ll get your size, madam. You there, get me a size 6 in this one. Yes madam, what? Bigger size? Really? 7? No? 8? Like EIGHT? Er… Show your feet, madam. Oh (smiling painfully now).


Some realizations kick in pretty late. In my case, I failed to understand the hidden agenda behind my humongous feet. Twenty two years thus, and here's the moment of revelation, almost Bilbo Baggins style!

I’m a peacock! A peacock is so beautiful, and it’s feet so ugly. But who cares! It’s a peacock! I just need to open my plumage, shake off some dirt, and then take flight!

I just plan a trip and get my big feet there. And so I shall… Unknown place, here I come – may your lands bask in my very big footsteps…

So here comes the peacock with hobbit feet and superiority complex issues and Bilbo Baggins-like thirst for adventure, shaking the dirt off its royal plumage...